Is there a connection between bowling and teambuilding? I am regularly told by managers that they offer teambuilding events to their workgroups. The description that follows may include bowling, community service projects, a ropes course or a night out together. This leaves the impression that teambuilding is something you do outside of work. This approach to teambuilding usually does little to improve the actual ability of a group of people to work together on a daily basis. Teamwork is difficult to achieve when this is the primary investment in teambuilding. As a matter of fact, it may have a negative return as the same dynamics at work appear in the teambuilding event frustrating all involved.
Leaders who build productive, high performance teams do not define teambuilding as bowling, or ropes courses opportunities (although these can be fun!). People who contribute as members of productive, high performance teams do not wait on a teambuilding event to learn or practice teamwork. Great teams develop because the leaders and members of those teams practice teamwork every day in every activity related to their work. Leaders of great teams consider how to engage and challenge the entire work group to overcome real challenges. Members of great teams consider how they can best contribute to the success of the entire team and choose to approach individual work in that manner. In the end, team leaders and team players choose to work in the way that most benefits those around them instead of out of personal preference or convenience. These leaders and work group members make every activity a teambuilding activity. Did your approach to work contribute to your entire team’s success today?